Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources

Emerging America
Graduate Credits: 


Social Studies and Humanities pose distinct challenges for struggling learners, including extensive discipline-specific vocabulary, difficult informational texts–including complex primary sources, and a need for background knowledge. Yet the authentic sources, important ideas and connections to issues of these subjects also offer vital tools for differentiation and potent means to motivate students.

This course supports content instruction for Students with Disabilities in History-Social Studies and Humanities (including literature, art, music, and language); and for Special Education teachers. Grounded in a decade of practice by history educators, historians, and experts in Special Education, and based on current research and innovative classroom practices, this course features models of best practices and employs primary sources and analysis tools.

Participants will:

  • Gain and apply practical classroom strategies.
  • Integrate History of Disability through issues of citizenship, private and government responsibility to provide services, and struggles for empowerment.
  • Create/adapt lessons: Universal Design for Learning and brain-based language learning.

This fully online workshop will run 2.5 hours per week for six weeks. You may complete it at convenient times for you. There will be one scheduled 75-minute webinar (with the option to watch the recording). Each week will include a mix of readings, online activities, and video clips. You will write responses to prompts in a class forum, and reply to your classmates' posts. Over the six weeks, you will find and create a text set of primary sources and write a lesson plan that employs techniques of access for students with disabilities.

Please noteThis is a graduate-level course. Click here for details about course expectations and assignments. All participants will be required to prepare for the start of the training by completing several short readings and a writing assignment to share in the TPS Teachers Network. More about this assignment will be emailed after registration is complete.


Teachers in Social Studies or Humanities, including literature, art, music, and language; Grades 4 - 12 


Maryland teachers will earn 15 Continuing Professional Development hours through a partnership with Maryland Humanities.

Massachusetts teachers will earn 22.5 PDPs upon completion of this training, in addition to outside reading and assignments (as per DESE regulations). Note that these PDPs will satisfy the ELL or Special Education-related requirement for recertification.

Participants may choose instead to take this course for 1 graduate credit through Westfield State University for an additional cost. To earn PDPs or Graduate Credit, participants must complete all assignments. 

Dates and Locations

This workshop is fully online. It runs from July 9 through August 8, 2021, with a 75-minute webinar. The webinar will be recorded in case of illness.

  • July 14, 2021, 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Cost and Registration

The cost of the workshop is $190.50 for member districts and $230.00 for non-member districts. Training costs are no longer funded by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.

Registration Deadline: July 2


  • thumbnail image of Lia Atanat

    As the outreach and professional development coordinator at Maryland Humanities, Lia Atanat visits schools all over Maryland to get students and teachers excited about National History Day and Thinkport primary source inquiry kits.

  • Rich Cairn

    Rich Cairn has directed the Emerging America program since 2006. Emerging America includes Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History Institutes: "Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry."

  • thumbnail image of Alison Noyes

    Alison Noyes is the Assistant Director of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years, entering as a teacher of English Language learners and high school history, and working for many years with international students and college study abroad as a program director and assistant dean before returning to focus on engaging K-12 students.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.